Door Blinds and Shades
For standard windows, you pretty much have your pick of which window treatment you'd like to use. But when it comes to French doors and sliding patio doors, there are certain blinds and shades that work better than others. Vertical blinds are best suited for large sliding doors since they open the same way as the door. For French doors, low profile blinds and shades installed with hold down brackets are the preferred choice.
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The right blind for the right window (and door)
You've probably heard the expression, "the right tool for the job." This applies to window coverings as well! Many windows don't require a specific window treatment, so it's more about personal needs and preferences. But for doors with windows, it's important to get a blind or shade that is compatible with that location, whether it's a French door or a sliding patio door. We'll explain what type of window treatments to choose from for each of these locations.
Blinds for Sliding Patio Doors
This common window style provides easy access to backyards, decks, and patios, as well as plenty of open view. Since these windows open sideways, it's recommended to get a window covering that opens the same way. This is why vertical blinds have been such an enduring favorite for patio doors – they open either to the left or the right, provide versatile privacy and light control options, and are economical for how much area they cover.
While you can opt for horizontal blinds or shades for patio doors, they can be unwieldy when it comes to passing in and out of the door. You'll generally have to raise the blind up completely to comfortably walk in and out. To avoid having a single blind over a large sliding door, you can opt for a 2on1 headrail blind, which is a single blind with two operable sections and a common valance, or install two blinds or shades side by side.
Blinds and Shades for French Doors
French doors are a great alternative to sliding doors for providing access to outside spaces. These can be either single doors or double doors. Some homes have French doors for interior spaces as well, such as home offices or sitting rooms. A French door is essentially any standard door that has a glass window within the door itself.
Like any window, you'll want to consider how much privacy and light control you'll want from the blind or shade that you'll put on the door. You have more flexibility when it comes to which blinds and shades you can use, and these styles are all great choices:
- Cellular Shades
- Bamboo Woven Wood Shades
- Wood Blinds
- Faux Wood Blinds
- Aluminum Blinds
- Pleated Shades
- Solar Shades
On French doors, you'll attach the bottom of the blind or shade to the door with special hold-down brackets. This stops the bottom of the blind from swaying dramatically when you open the door and helps prevent damage to either the door or the blind. Keep in mind that the blind will be covering the window all the time – meaning that you won't be able to raise the blind. So if you want to easily see through the French door window, you'll probably want a wood, faux wood, or aluminum blind since you can still rotate the slats open or closed. A bamboo shade with an open weave is also a good choice.
Tips for Ordering and Installing Blinds for French Doors
You'll need to order blinds or shades for French doors as outside mounts, since you'll install them to the face of the door. For wood and faux wood blinds with an included valance, you'll receive side pieces for the valance (called returns) so that the valance will cover the headrail on all three exposed sides.
When measuring for your new custom French door blind or shade:
- Follow the directions for an outside mount, generally ordering your blind the size of the area you want to cover on the door
- Be sure to include in your measurement enough space above the door glass to install the blind (you'll see this listed as the "minimum flat space for outside mount" listed for each product).
- Also include the desired overlap to the left and right of the window; this helps provide better light control and privacy to have the blind extend beyond the sides of the window instead of being the same width. At least an inch past the window edges on each side is recommended.
- You'll need space to attach the hold down brackets from the bottom of the blind to the door, so it's good to have the blind extend below the window an inch or two.
Specific measuring instructions are found on the product page of each of our blinds and shades, and our friendly customer service team is always available to help with any questions!